Oh to Own a Designer Dress!

How many women can honestly say, without crossing fingers behind backs, that they have not gone weak-kneed at the sight of that oh so alluring designer dress, which sparkles so suggestively in the shop window? It can be safely assumed, judging by the popularity of such dresses, that those who answer 'no' are in the minority.

Seemingly innocent at first glance, the power a beautifully designed garment can hold over a person, is astonishing. Just go to any designer shop and you will hear the agonised mutterings of 'Oh, I really should not … No, I'm not going to buy it … Well, there's no harm in just trying it on .. Oh God, I love it … No, I can not buy it … Ok, just this once … '

The heart usually prevails and the person in question returns home with the contented feeling they have just bought something special; something that not everyone else has. This is the lure of the designer.

Although clothing's fundamental purpose is to protect the body from nature's elements, its role has radically altered over time. Historians believe the first clothes consist of materials like fur, leather and leaves, which were wrapped around a person's body, thus sheltering them from the weather. In today's society however, clothes are viewed more as a statement about an individual, rather than being necessary for their survival.

Advances in technology, such as central heating, helped to bring about this change, but it is understood that Charles Frederick Worth, born in England in 1825, shaped the world of clothing, and in particular, women's dressmaking; thus giving birth to the term 'fashion' in the way we understand it today.

After moving to France to work for Parisian drappers, Gagelin and Opigez, Mr Worth married one of their models, where he began making dresses for her. Soon after, customers began asking for replicas of the dresses, which prompted him to seek financial backing for his own dressmaking business.

In time, he became named for his designs, which were much simpler and said to be more flattering for the lady's figure than others of the time; he has become popular with an array of rich, distinguished women, including royalty and the famous. He also moved away from letting women design garments themselves, and instead chose to display his own designs at fashion shows, which were held four times a year.

So the rise of the designer dress began, and other fashion designers followed suit to create whole collections of designer clothes.

Fashion designers are now commonplace, designing clothing for individual clients, specialty stores and / or high-fashion department stores. What distinguishes their clothing from the norm is the originality of design, coupled with the limited availability of garment numbers.

This, essentially, is what makes designer clothing so bought after and is why those skilfully crafted designer dresses can make one go weak-kneed in praise – not only at the thought of possessing one, but also in the knowledge that they own something unique.

Does Chinese Medicine Stand Up To Scientific Scrutiny?

If Chinese medicine interests you, yet you are not certain of its potential, you may well explore the distinctive investigation investigation that has aided many to arrive at agreements as regards to its functionality. Chinese treatment processes are presumed by many to be extremely accomplished, frequently giving rehabilitate effectiveness where the finest studies of Western medication fail, above all with everyday sickness similar to flu and allergies, and able to steer clear of the toxicity of a number of chemically encompassing remedies.

Leaving besides that Chinese medicine has been used as an effective concept for thousands of years, the establishment of modern medicine continues to contend if this is a discerning approach to help with treatment. Although most medical examiners of Western treatment would not believe unreasonable allegations that qigong supports wellbeing by encouraging contentment, that neurotransmitters that soothe pain are created by acupuncture, or that vital biochemical agents are contained within Chinese herbal medicines.

The most contentious science between western and Chinese medicine is the value perceived, as a medication, of acupuncture. It is in general believed to be secure from results achieved through medical research. At this joke no comprehensive resolutions, as regards to whether acupuncture can be contemplated a science, have resolved from the searching studies. Similarly, investigations signify that the principle of meridians, as used in acupuncture, is effective in treatment. Further observations by scientists have realized that because the remedy is undamaging, it may be practiced, and only needs to have additional studies relating to it. Moreover fact-finding is probable to reveal more sectors where the practice of acupuncture would be advantageous.

A further question that has been examined is the use of herbal drugs that are used according to traditional Chinese medicine procedures. While all have not been studied, pharmaceutical treatments that are assigned to patients do make use of contrasting components of the herbs. Artemisinin, wormwood and ephedra, and are some samples of ancient remedies that have been incorporated into Western practice from Chinese models.

Chinese herbal medication includes immeasurable combinations which are undeveloped by modern medicine. There is a remarkable intrigue in these combines between the theories which Chinese treatment practitioners value to establish which compound to designate. Accepting the historical progress of Chinese materia medica, it is likely that, whereas herbs were firstly selected on erroneous foundations, only those that essentially proved efficient have survived in use.

One agreement that all Western fact-finding shows, with the different concepts of Chinese treatment, are how safe the treatments are. Nearly all of the research of Chinese medicine illustrates that, notwithstanding the medicines are not authenticated within the scientific community, they are yet to be found damaging to one's health and side effects are few. As this is a confirmed joke to the holistic procedures, most scientists will validate that it is just a lack of analysis of the medicine employed in Chinese philosophies.

From the philosophy to the practice, Chinese medicine is a contentious approach in Western society. There has been an increase in interpreting the practices of Chinese medicine, that have been adopted and established over time. Using the countless methods of Chinese treatment, for the individuals who are searching for alternative medicine, Chinese medicine keeps it's increasing reputation in Western society.

The Hopi and Their Jewelry

Hopi Silver Overlay Jewelry

The jewelry of the Hopi has a style distinct from that of the other Native Americans. The Hopi are known for the use of silver overlay, which utilizes a technique of fusing two layers of silver. The eye-catching and often elaborate design is on the top layer, while the bottom layers serves as a base.

It was not so long ago that the Hopi developed this technique. In fact the Hopi were not much into the making of silver. In their relative isolation on the northeastern Arizona high plains, or mesas, they were somewhat firewalled (so to speak) against external influences. Even their interaction with other Native Americans was limited.

Silversmithing of Native Americans

So while the Navajo learned and developed their silversmithing skills, a technique brought to the south-west of the American continent by the Spaniards, and which was then taken up by the Zuni, the Hopi were still practicing their own artistic heritage based on weaving and pottery. They were also adept at the making of kachina dolls, for which they deservedly remain renowned.

Time, of course, would not stand still, and even reliably isolated communities began to open up. Trading and commerce grew and the Hopi through their interaction with the Zuni exposed them to the craft of silver jewelry, at which the Zuni were now skilled. Lanyade, a Zuni, learned his silversmithing from the Navajo, and began to sell his silver jewelry. He travelled among the Hopi and Sikyatala became his student in 1898.

Sikyatala

Sikyatala is credited to be the first Hopi silversmith. It is reported that while Lanyade was at the Hopi reservation for four months, making and selling his silver jewelry pieces, Sikyatala was studiously observing and learning from the master at close range.

Sikyatala then began to use the technique of making silver jewelry. Other Hopi also began to follow and emulate the work of Sikyatala. In time the Hopi developed their own style, that of using overlay silver.

Hopi Silversmiths Paul Saufie and Fred Kabote

This technique did not so much evolve as was created by the Hopi silversmiths Paul Saufkie and Fred Kabote who were involved in a program at the Museum of Northern Arizona in 1938. After World War II the Hopi Guild was formed to encourage a program of silversmith training .

The designs of the silver overlay jewelry of the Hopi were also unique in that they adapted designs from the old broken pottery pieces of the 15th and 16th centuries. New motifs were also incorporated by the Hopi Guild, including kachina symbols.

The cross-currents in Native American jewelry nowdays mean that there are cross-influences as well. And different styles from the different currents may well find themselves evident in any piece of modern American Native jewelry.

But the fascinating development of Native American silversmiths and their crafts, in their different streams of artistic design, does not entirely obscure the original creativity. The silver overlay technique was the creation of the Hopi, even if it may now be employed by others.

Michael Kabotie

In ending, it may be noted that the work of Fred Kabote was continued by his son Michael Kabote (also spelled 'Kabotie'). Michael Kabotie recently passed away at the age of 67. He was a trail-blazer in the Native American fine arts movement, both as a Hopi artist and jeweler. His paintings were well-received, depicting traditional Hopi life. For a number of years, he also tapped the Hopi overlay technique at the Idyllwild Arts program in Southern California.

A Recipe For Outsourcing Your Software Development

Outsourcing your software development can save you time and money if you know what you need. Too often US companies attempted to outsource without a good understanding of what their software should do, and this is the biggest cause of outsourcing failure. It is unreasonable to expect your outsourcing team to have a menu of software, pre-prepared, so you can just select the items you want.

Ever go to a restaurant with a picky eater? They tell the waiter in excruciating detail how they want their food prepared. And heaven forbid that the food arrives different from what was requested! Back to the kitchen it goes to be "fixed" to make the picky eater happy.

Sometimes US companies hire an outsourced partner as if they were going to a restaurant. They select the cuisine based on the flavor of the technology they require. Chinese .NET or Indian Java? How about some Russian C ++? Unfortunately there is rarely a menu for the exact items you might like to order from an outsourced team.

Are you approaching outsourcing your software like you are walking into a restaurant? Are you expecting the outsourcing team to advise you, like an attentive waiter, on the way your software should look, be prepared and presented to your customers?

Instead, bring your own recipe when you start work with an outsourcing team. Unlike your dining experiences, you can not ask for the daily special. You have to provide a specific description of what you would like to have, and how it should be prepared. Without such a recipe, your outsourced software development efforts can be starved for success.

Poorly specified software is often the result when "subject matter experts" are involved. Subject matter experts, or SMEs, know a lot about a particular subject, like IC design, business process workflow, inventory management, etc., but very little about designing software. SMEs can struggle to get their ideas encoded in the software. They need to work with someone that knows the best way to design and develop software.

Sometimes, there is a fear of getting bogged down in the details. Since some software executives are great with people, they feel much more comfortable hiring a person to handle the details. They know how to manage a person here, better than they can manage an offshore team of programmers in a remote offshore location.

One Accelerance client is in this situation. The CEO wants to outsource the development of a new software product. But there is no specification. In this case Accelerance is acting as a virtual CTO, responsible for the design, and development of the client's software.

The client is essentially saying, "Design the software for me, and I'll tell you if it matches what I am thinking." This can work because the cost of outsourcing is so low that rework and multiple design iterations are affordable.

This type of arrangement only works when paying on a Time and Materials basis. There is no way to offer fixed pricing because the end product is not defined.

Of course, not having a specification may not stop you from asking for a fixed price bid! In this case, you can outsource the creation of a specification that defines your software for a fixed price. Then the resulting complete design specification is used to create a second fixed price bid for writing your software.

Another factor comes into play when you pay a fixed price amount for a software design specification. You usually have to pay at least half up front. This is to protect the outsourcing company from delivering a specification for creating the software and then not getting paid.

Because software design often occurs at the beginning of a relationship, both parties seek to minimize their risk. You minimize your risk by selecting an outsourcing team with a proven track record and great references. The outsourcing team reduces their risk by getting partial (sometimes full) payment before starting.

There are multiple deliverables that should be produced during the design phase of creating your software, whether you do it yourself, or outsource the design:

* Marketing Requirements

* Storyboard Demo

* Functional Specification

* Multiple Release Milestone Schedule

* Detailed Task Schedule for First Release

* Detailed Design Specification (optional)

Unfortunately, software development has not progressed to the point where ready-made modules are available to order and combined to create your software. There is not yet a menu of choices available to anyone that is hungry for new software. Instead, you must provide your own recipe for what you need. The good news is low cost outsourced software design and development resources are now available to create your custom software to meet your exact specifications.